As the year draws to a close, what were the most competitive rental markets of 2023?’s 2023 Year-End Report analyzed 139 rental markets in the U.S. and ranked them based on five key metrics for rental competitiveness. The analysis found that Phoenix is the nation’s 59th hottest small market in 2023 and nine renters competed for each vacant Phoenix apartment in 2023. Here’s why: 

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  • the share of apartments completed this year: 3.69% (vs. the national average of 1.89%) 
  • the number of renters competing for an apartment: (on par with the national average) 
  • the number of days a Phoenix apartment stayed vacant: 39 (vs. the national average of 38) 
  • the percentage of renters who renewed their leases: 55.9% (vs. the national average of 60.2%) 
  • the percentage of rentals that were occupied: 93.1% (vs. the national average of 94%) 

The Midwest was the most competitive region for renting in 2023 with three of its markets making the top five nationwide. While most of the U.S. shows signs of softening in rental competitiveness, Midwestern markets are bucking the trend. Specifically, the region’s lower cost of living, ample living spaces that bode well with remote work, and almost instant access to the great outdoors are attracting more and more renters.

In fact, the Midwest is experiencing an economic revival, fueled in part by the Rise of the Rest fund that aims to boost entrepreneurship and innovation outside of the coastal hubs. To that end, America’s heartland has seen thousands of startups emerging in recent years, showing its both potential and vitality.

On the other hand, Miami was the nation’s hottest rental market in 2023. The metro’s thriving tech scene continues to attract innovators and entrepreneurs from all around the world, driving the competition for rental apartments. Plus, its business-friendly climate offers incentives and opportunities for growth, while the lack of income tax makes it a top renting spot for both locals and newcomers.

Of course, many people were looking for a new place to call home throughout this year, especially during the moving frenzy in the peak rental season. Some sought to enjoy the amenities and opportunities of urban living in places like North Jersey or Milwaukee, while others chose more laid-back locations like Fayetteville, AR, or Providence, RI.

So, as the year draws to a close, what were the most competitive markets in 2023? To find out, analyzed the 139 largest markets in the U.S. where data was available and ranked them based on five key metrics when it comes to rental competitiveness. These metrics were:

  • the number of days apartments stayed vacant
  • the percentage of rentals that were occupied
  • the number of prospective renters competing for an apartment
  • the percentage of renters who renewed their leases
  • the share of apartments completed this year

We then used these metrics to calculate a Rental Competitivity Index (RCI) to see how competitive the U.S. rental market was this year. The national RCI score was 59.5 in 2023.